For small national-type Chinese schools in rural areas, it is common for the number of Malay students to exceed that of Chinese students. SJKC Ton Fah in Beranang, Hulu Langat, is no exception.
As the school relocates to the more urban Semenyih, however, its student population is expected to increase.
The relocation of SJKC Ton Fah to Eco Majestic, Semenyih was officially launched yesterday by Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying, Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching, and Selangor executive council member Ng Sze Han.
According to Lim, the school suffered poor enrolment due to rural emigration to the cities. Thus, the Education Ministry approved the relocation on May 17, 2017, and the construction of the new campus was given the green light on Dec 5, 2018.
After six years, the new building was finally completed on Sept 4.
The school has 253 students, of whom more than half are Malays.
Its headmistress Tan Kwee Choo told Malaysiakini that Chinese students used to be the majority, but due to the migration of the Chinese population in Beranang, the proportion of Malay students eventually exceeded that of Chinese students.
“People move around. They want to find jobs, causing the Chinese population to move to big cities, so the number of Chinese students decreased,” she explained.
Although the new building is only about seven kilometres from the old one, Tan acknowledged that the old campus is more remote.
She said the student population had increased by 14 students since moving to Eco Majestic from the original 239 students and the number of Chinese students also increased.
As of August, Malays comprised 55.23 percent of the student population at the school, Chinese (32.22 percent), Indians (7.53 percent) and 5.02 percent from other ethnicities.
However, as of November, Tan said the figure is 52.57 percent Malays, 34.78 percent Chinese, 7.51 percent Indians and 5.14 percent from other ethnicities.
With the relocation, she predicts that the student population will increase further in the new academic year.
The old school premises only had seven classrooms, compared to 24 classrooms for the new campus – including 13 digital classrooms and eight classrooms equipped with smart TVs. – Malaysiakini